Are You Feeling a Little Shy?

Shyness is an awkwardness and an apprehension that some people feel while approaching or when being approached by other people. These people have a desire to be outgoing and to connect with others on a social and emotional level. However, they find this impossible because they can’t seem to handle the anxiety that comes with human interaction.

Before proceeding, it’s important to point out that shyness is not the same as being introverted. Introverts actually feel energized spending time alone doing their own thing. They aren’t afraid of social situations, but rather simply prefer to be by themselves. Social situations drain them emotionally, while solitary activities energize and spark their creativity.

In contrast, shy people desperately seek the acceptance and approval of others. This makes them extremely self-conscious and fearful of being judged, ridiculed, criticized, humiliated, embarrassed, and rejected. They have a negative self-preoccupation and often evaluate themselves and their own ability in very limiting ways. In fact, when it comes to social situations they expect that they will make mistakes and fail miserably to connect with others on a meaningful level. Their unhelpful thoughts and beliefs about their social interactions make them feel extremely insecure. And yet, one of their most endearing traits — that of being a thoughtful listener — is a vital part of any meaningful social relationship.

$99.99

The Consequences of Shyness

Being overcome with shyness is never good for your social growth and development. Not only does it cause you to purposefully avoid social situations, but it can also lead to isolation, sadness, loneliness, regret, and depression. In fact, every time you avoid a social situation you are at that moment depleting your reservoirs of self-confidence. And the less self-confidence you have, the less likely you are to give your opinion, to make new friends, to take advantage of social opportunities to further your career or attain your desired objectives.

We all have goals and objectives that we would like to attain. It’s unfortunate for shy individuals that the vast majority of these objectives require the help of other people. This means that to bring their goals to fruition they must venture out into the world and make social connections. And if they are unable to do this, then they will end up living a life full of regrets and unfulfilled promises.

All of these consequences can lead to a very problematic life. However, it doesn’t have to be this way. If shyness is currently directing your decisions and actions, then it’s not too late to make some pivotal changes starting today. The journey, of course, won’t be easy and it will take some time and effort. However, with a desire to make these changes stick and a commitment to upgrade your social skills, you can certainly turn your life around.



Every Sentence Coming Out of Your Mouth Isn’t Going to Make Sense; Accept It

“Many shy, socially anxious people report the fear of being unable to make the desired impression on others,” says Barry Schlenker, Ph.D., a professor emeritus of psychology at the University of Florida, in Gainesville, who has done extensive research on social anxiety. Shy people often appear to others as socially competent, but for whatever reason (unrealistic personal standards, a lack of confidence), they can’t see it themselves. Shy people also tend to believe that when they inevitably fail to come across well, they’ll suffer unpleasant consequences, including shame, because of it. It’s no wonder, then, that they tend to clam up in large gatherings. Instead, says Henderson, they should try to “bumble freely,” to realize that it’s okay to lose their train of thought or forget a person’s name. While there’s no magic switch to change the way you view your social interactions, you can make a conscious effort to talk more often and to deliberately edit your self-judgments afterward. Pretend to be your best friend. When you’re being hard on yourself, ask, “What would she say to me?”

A lesson in action: To practice speaking spontaneously, I enroll in a class at the Peoples Improv Theater, in New York City. Improv helps, say, experts because it calls for a zero-tolerance policy for perfectionism. The scenes move so quickly that mistakes are inevitable, even for the most experienced performers. Plus, says Tom Yorton, the CEO of Second City Communications, a company that uses improv to build communication skills in corporate employees, participants “focus less on judging themselves and more on creating a connection with others.”

At first, every new exercise makes me nervous, and about half the scenes that I’m in are total busts, filled with awkward pauses and topics that fizzle. One in particular, about a trip to the beach, ends with a lame “Well, it was good to see you.” Later I catch myself fixating on failures. But rather than wallowing, I remember that messing up is no big deal and that everyone else did it, too. By the third week, I feel more relaxed and realize that the more mistakes I make—and I make a lot—the less each one seems to matter.

Make an Effort to Meet New People

Every day you get out of bed, make a resolution that you will go out and meet new people. This, of course, doesn’t mean you must go out of your way to introduce yourself to someone new. It doesn’t need to be this difficult. Instead, when you visit your local store to do some shopping, choose to talk to the clerk or to another customer. While you’re walking your dog smile at a stranger and ask them how their day has been. Or if you’re at the gym, volunteer to help someone with their workout, or ask a stranger to give you some pointers and tips to help improve your workout regime.

Meeting new people is easy and can be quite effortless without you needing to go the extra mile. However, you will need to at the very least make an effort to get out of the house. You can only meet new people in the world outside the boundaries of your lounge room.

Image result for long fiverr banner

 Learn from Your Experience

The final step of this process is to learn from your experience. You might, therefore, choose to come home after your shopping expedition at your local supermarket and sit down with a pencil and pad and write out your thoughts, feelings, and observations. In fact, here are some questions you might like to ask yourself about your experience:

How did things go today?

Did I accomplish what I set out to do?

What worked out well for me?

Where did I struggle?

What unexpected challenges did I face?

How did I handle these challenges?

How else could I have handled these challenges?

How could I improve things the next time around?

What will I do differently tomorrow?

What could I do more or better tomorrow?

There are many questions you could potentially ask. Hopefully, these questions can get you started.

In the end, the most important thing is to learn the lessons from the experience you had today, and then to bring those lessons forward into your tomorrows. That’s the only way you will learn and grow and make progress to overcome shyness.

Get paid to share your links!

Be curious about others.

The very first principle in Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People is to become genuinely interested in others. Carnegie based this point on the work of psychologist Alfred Adler, who wrote, “It is the individual who is not interested in his fellow men who has the greatest difficulties in life.”

In a social setting, try taking your focus off yourself. Instead, focus on being curious about others. Who are they and why are they there? What are their interests and hobbies? This gives you something different to focus on and helps you to generate conversations. Everyone’s got a story to tell. Find out what it is, then sit back and listen. People love to talk about themselves. The way to be the most interesting person in the room is to find others interesting.

Expose yourself to the situations that make you shy

This is probably the most effective way to overcome shyness in the long term. If certain situations make you feel shy, put yourself in them until you’re used to them, and you learn how to act more effectively in them. This is a long, sometimes hard, process. Facing your fears is uncomfortable. So is making mistakes and learning from them. Ditto for occasionally getting rejected and learning firsthand that you can handle it.

Strengthen Your Physiology

How you use your body influences how you feel. How you feel influences your perceptions, and your perceptions likewise influence the decisions you make and the actions you take.

When in a shy state-of-mind, you will tend to be very hesitant. You will breathe in a shallow manner and your movements will be extremely cautious. How are you ever going to make any progress socially if you approach social situations in this way?

Instead of being in a shy state, choose to be confident. In fact, fake your confidence. Have you ever heard of the saying: “fake it till you make it”? Well, living this way can be rather handy. Therefore instead of moving your body like a shy person would practice moving your body as though you were confident and secure in your own skin. Ask yourself:

How would a confident person move their body?

How would a confident person stand?

How would a confident person sit?

How would a confident person’s body act in social situations?

What about facial expressions? What would they look like?

The answers to these questions will provide you with the guidelines you need to make the necessary adjustments to your physiology. However, it’s not enough to just know these things, actually take time to prepare and practice moving confidently at first by yourself, and later when in the company of others. If you need help, then simply close your eyes and visualize yourself in your imagination as being confident in social situations. However, don’t stop there. Also visualize being courageous, curious, patient and optimistic. All of these traits will help transform your physiology and help you to approach social situations with far more confidence and self-assurance.

Initially, these changes will feel unnatural and forced. However, over time you will actually gain real confidence, and that’s when you will no longer feel as though you’re moving or acting unnaturally. Your confidence will simply become a part of who you are in social situations.


$13.95

Stay Calm Under Pressure

When in social situations, you will have a tendency to feel a little anxious and uncertain. It’s easy to become overwhelmed with anxiety. However, it doesn’t need to be this way as long as you prepare yourself in advance.

Learn all you can about how to keep your emotions cool, calm and collected during pressures situations. This essentially boils down to developing the necessary emotional coping skills you will need when faced with criticism, rejection and when you make social missteps or mistakes.

You must face the fact that you will be rejected and you will make mistakes. It’s important not to dwell on these things. These things are a part of life and a part of growth and development. Learn from them and move on. Your past is only there to help you make better decisions in the future, not to make you feel miserable about yourself in the present moment.

There are many things you can do to keep yourself focused, centered and mindful of the present moment. One of these techniques is called progressive muscle relaxation. It can be used at times to help calm your body and center your mind. It works by progressively relaxing each muscle of your body starting from your toes and finishing at the tip of your head. It’s something that’s best accomplished lying down, however it can also be done standing up. Just close your eyes for a few moments and observe as a wave of calming energy projects from the earth into your toes and up through your body.

During these moments you are drawing your attention to the present. You are no longer thinking about what others will think, say or do. Instead, you are focusing on being mindful of the moment. And this is what will help calm your emotions and allow you to gather your thoughts and move through the social situation with far less emotional upheaval.

Make an Effort to Meet New People

Every day you get out of bed, make a resolution that you will go out and meet new people. This, of course, doesn’t mean you must go out of your way to introduce yourself to someone new. It doesn’t need to be this difficult. Instead, when you visit your local store to do some shopping, choose to talk to the clerk or to another customer. While you’re walking your dog smile at a stranger and ask them how their day has been. Or if you’re at the gym, volunteer to help someone with their workout, or ask a stranger to give you some pointers and tips to help improve your workout regime.

Meeting new people is easy and can be quite effortless without you needing to go the extra mile. However, you will need to at the very least make an effort to get out of the house. You can only meet new people in the world outside the boundaries of your lounge room.

Seek Out Positive Role Models

Regularly take the time to seek out support from people who are confident and socially active. Use them as positive role models to help you continue developing your confidence in social situations.

Having friends who are socially outgoing will encourage you to get out more often and connect with others. These people will not only provide you with a good example you can follow, but they can also introduce you to other like-minded individuals who can become part of your growing support network.

View Everything as a Learning Experience

No matter what happens to you, view it as nothing more than a learning experience.

Things will not go as you had expected. In fact, things might at times work out much worse then you expected. And that’s perfectly okay. It doesn’t matter what happens to you as long as you use this experience to help you grow, develop and improve yourself in the future.

But when it comes down to it, the answer lies within your mind and how you perceive your surroundings is entirely up to you, remember it is not permanent and the right change of mindset or at least in the right direction will allow you to overcome those traits that set you back from fulfilling your utmost potential.

Did you find this article helpful? Did you take anything away from it, Comment below your thoughts, leave a like and don’t forget to share to your friends to help them out in overcoming their shyness.

Advertisements